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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 6 Social and Personality Development of an Infant Yes, it appears that infants experience emotions but the range of emotion is restricted at birth. At around 7 months old, children may experience stranger anxiety. Prior to seven months old, strangers didnt seem to matter, however, at the end of the first year infants start to show a wariness, a caution to unfamiliar people; this implies that they have greater cognitive abilities and can distinguish people they know. Several factors may influence stranger anxiety or not. They are less anxious around women and children who are unfamiliar to them than if the stranger is a large male. They are less anxious if Mother is close vs. if shes a few steps away. It also appears that mothers response to the person plays a part into the response the child makes to the stranger. Separation Anxiety Page 188 = Emotional distress displayed when the childs usual caregiver departs. This usually occurs slightly later than stranger anxiety. Beginning at 8 or 9 months and reaching its peak around 14 months and then slowly decreases. Stranger and separation anxiety represent social growth. SMILING Around 6 to 9 weeks babies begin to smile reliably at the sight of stimuli that pleases them. NOTE: Smiling in response to other people is considered a social smile. However, if an adult is unresponsive to a child, the amount of smiling decreases. ALWAYS REMEMBER TO REINFORCE WHAT YOU WANT TO CONTIINUE. Infants are able to discriminate happy and sad vocal expressions at the age of 5 months. They may not understand your words but they can understand the emotion behind the word by the tone you use to express that word. If parents send a mixed messageex: if Dad smiles and Mom frowns the child becomes distressed and stressed. Page 190 Social Referencing=Helps us to know what an appropriate response should be. Its an intentional search for information from others when were in uncertain circumstances. This starts young around 8 or 9 months old. Page 191 Do Infants Know who they are? In the beginning we cant differentiate between what is me and what isnt me! They cant tell where their bodies leave off and where their mothers body begins. Self-awareness begins to develop at around 12 months of age. Between ages 18 to 24 months they are more aware of there own physical characteristics and come to understand that their appearance is stable over time. Infants learn that other people operate under their own power and are able to respond to the infants requests. They learn that peoples actions are goal directed. Which is in contrast to the behaviors of inanimate objects. By age 2 infants begin to demonstrate empathy....
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- Winter '10